Social Media Means You Can’t Hide

One of the great powers of social media is the difficulty to hide your true character. Even people who try to put on a dishonest face don’t last very long. The whole system is geared towards ruining liars. That is a good thing. On one hand, you are more likely to trust someone when you can verify who they are from three or more social media profiles, blog entries, photos and Google results. You trust them even more when you find them on LinkedIn. On the other hand, people will NEVER trust you when they find a different message, value statement and personality between three or more social media profiles, blog entries, photos and Google Results - and trust you even less when that message is reflected wrongly on your LinkedIn profile. So, if you are hiding something, waiting for the third conversation to mention the “real” reason for you're reaching out, you are THAT guy. You don’t want to be THAT guy. Anyone can smell a fish, especially on social media. Be upfront about your intentions with every interaction. Here is an example. Someone posted this on their LinkedIn profile: “I feel I am lost in my career at this point, and would appreciate any and all guidance on what direction I should take.” I have trouble being that forthright, as I’m sure many of you would be. However, this person demonstrated integrity at such a level recruiters have simply gravitated to her. Have even offered to groom her for their open jobs. I hold myself to this standard daily. I hold my clients to this standard. One client of mine posted his frustration at not knowing where his career was taking him. In that next week, he received no less than 17 e-mails from recruiters and fellow job seekers. In contrast, I was speaking with a job seeker the other day who had been unemployed for over a year. So, I asked him what his strategy was. He said he reaches out to old friends and tells them he is unemployed on the third conversation. “So, how’s that working out for you?" was my only stunned reply! Don’t be afraid to tell your truth, whatever that may be, in a professional, non-whiny way. You may be surprised at the results.

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